Cold Skin (2017) Movie Script

We are never very far
from those whom we hate.
For this very reason,
we shall never be truly close
to those we love.
An appalling fact.
I knew it well enough
when I embarked.
But some truths
deserve our attention,
others are best left alone.
We set sail 67 days ago.
September, 1914.
Matches are as useless
as teats on a bull above deck.
Thank you.
There's your island.
Look, you see it?
What are you running from?
That was the first question
they asked me when I decided
to go to sea.
Prepare to weigh anchors.
That is a one man job,
you don't need two.
Russian ...
Be careful, go to the back,
don't get it wet.
Careful with that.
Don't throw stuff about.
C'mon, come on!
No birds.
No weather offical
to greet you either.
Captain sir, where we leave the luggage
of officer of Aaron Winds?
Here inside.
Tell the others to hold off
with the rest of the ...
No, no, bring it forth.
With respect, I am responsible
for your safe passage
and this is hardly reassuring.
You've already provided
such passage.
It had to be taken
as an act of kindness,
the Captain accompanied me
onto dry land.
Nothing obliged him.
But during the journey we'd come
to one of those understandings
that sometimes arise between men
of different generations.
The captain always treated me
with courtesy of an executioner.
If he could do anything
for me.. he would.
Boys, go back to the boat.
You in there?
Open up!
Can you hear me?
Wake up!
Water, toad.
Wake up!
Maritime signal technician,
we are replacing the weather official,
Aldor Vigeland.
Can you tell of his whereabouts?
I said, where is the weather official?
Listen here, I'm a captain
of a ship in transit,
I had to change course
to bring this man here,
and take his predecessor away.
Now where is..?
He's dead?
Do you have any tobacco?
Where are the man's remains?
Christ man, speak up!
He went out one day.
I never saw him again.
For God's sake, it's an island!
How far could he have gone?
A swim..
Your name?
You like Frazer?
That's not my book.
You, you have tobacco?
Not on my person, no.
Mr. Gruner.
I appreciate your concern but
I'm not about to turn back now.
Take this.
Don't mistake stubbornness
with stupidity.
I'll manage.
Thank you for all you've done.
Eat well.
Work hard.
Stay busy.
Fair winds.
And following seas.
I would have to live
in a solitude-like exile
for twelve months,
far from civilization,
with a job as monotonous
as it was insignificant:
To log the intensity
and direction of the winds.
Mr. Gruner.
Mr. Gruner.
Mr. Gruner, if this is
your idea of an initiat..
Open the door!
Let me in!
- Please, let me in!
- Should have stayed on the boat.
When I have fears
that I may cease to be,
before my pen has gleaned
my teeming brain,
before high piled books
and carrot tree
hold like rich garnest
the full ripened grain.
When I behold upon
the night-starred face,
huge cloudy symbols
of a high romance,
and think that I may never live
to trace their shadows
with the magic hand at Garnis,
and when I feel,
fair creature of an hour,
that I shall never look
upon thee more,
never have relished the fairy power
of unreflecting love,
then, on the shore of the wide world,
I stand alone,
and think, to love and fame
to nothingness do sink.
Mother of God!
- Don't shoot!
- Put your gun down!
Put it down!
Step back!
Whatta ya want?
Do I really need to spell it out?
You said you had tobacco?
- Vodka?
- Gin!
And ammunition.
There's plenty more!
- She's harmless.
- Harmless?
Come here, come.. here..
Come on.
I think I'll call you.. Friend.
You got bitten.
- How many'd you kill?
- Don't know.
The previous weather official..
It wasn't typhus.
You left him stranded
here like me.
- It's as good as murder.
- We gotta go.
Come on!
Pain gone?
- How long was I out for?
- A day or two by my reckoning.
Pissed your pants.
One thousand eight hundred
and sixty two.
Now that's what I call an armoury.
What's it doing?
Stupid thing.
Thinks stuff will float away.
- You can speak with the beasts.
- Not speak, command.
Doesn't it try and escape?
The dogs leave even
the cruellest of masters.
It's incredible.
I never even imagined
such things could exist.
What we know it's a small island
in the vast ocean of what we don't.
I know that there are atolls that contain
unique and endemic species of fish
that have evolved
completely independently.
Hangover species that
have survived in isolation,
stuck in a kind
of evolutionary stalemate.
Maybe these beasts are like that,
not.. quite.. human,
or amphibian, reptile or fish.
She's not quite like the others,
is she?
This one doesn't bite, that's all.
What about that scar on your shoulder?
It was one time, the only time.
She learnt her lesson.
It's the still and silent sea
that drowns a man.
I adjusted the mechanism
to sweep the coastline.
For all I know it's the controls,
like all infernal beasts.
They shun light, human or divine.
- Demons from Atlantis.
- I believe in what I see.
One thing I still can't understand
is that you could have escaped
4 days ago on the boat
that brought me here.
- Escaped? To where?
- To a civilized world.
Nice place, that civilized world
of yours.
That why you gave it up?
Here, I'm master of my own destiny
come hell or high water.
Well, you can keep it
I'm signalling for the first ship
that passes by.
Now this island is not on any
commercial shipping lanes,
the next ship here will be
the one with your replacement.
Come on Gruner,
lighthouses are built
where there's naval transit.
There also built to balance
navy budgets, and siphon funds.
Got to empty your bucket before
you can fill it up again boy.
It is the second time in a week
I'm forced to rebuild my life.
All my belongings are burned.
I've nothing from the person
I used to be.
In this remote part of the world,
I feel a a sense of irreparable loss.
I can't tell whether it arises
from a longing for civilization,
a prisoner's panic,
or simply fear.
Don't! Don't eat on that!
It's not edible.
It's a can..
get your rifle.
Don't shoot til they reach the tower
and don't waste bullets on their wounded.
Given enough carrion,
they'll devour each other.
I don't see anything.
You'll learn what to look for.
Go on!
Shoot, man! Use your gun!
Come on! Shoot!
No man is an island..
Or ship.
Gruner is an island.
Gruner does not need,
any dead weight,
no matter how much chocolate,
and coffee, ladybird brought.
Go fetch some water.
One last chance.
Hold fast.
Behind you!
Wake up, man! Wake up!
Shoot, shoot dammit,
shoot, shoot!
One last chance!
Gruner! wails
Let me in!
Let me in! Gruner!
Gruner and I settled into
a curious sort of coexistence,
based on routine.
Monsters always swarm at night,
their strikes growing
longer every day.
The Japanese philosopher Musashi said
that only a few appreciate
the art of war.
A good warrior is not defined
by the cause he defends,
but rather by the meaning
that derives from the struggle.
Days are always the same.
I abandon my post on the balcony
at the break of dawn.
Nature dictates the length
of my slumber.
I have to accept
the most ungrateful tasks
simply to keep my place
inside the lighthouse.
I've been meditating on my reason
for coming to this island.
I had been seeking peace
through nothingness,
but in place of silence,
I found a monster-plagued inferno.
It smells strange.
- D'you know the herbs aren't bad?
- Herbs are like people.
They're neither good nor bad,
they're just known or unknown,
that's all.
A herbs won't slit your throat
for money.
A farmer keeps cows,
cares for them, he feeds them.
Gives them endearing names.
Like Daisy.
But then he steals her milk,
and he kills her children.
Another riddle.
It's a matter of necessity.
Has it ever occurred to you
that it might be her wailing
that attracts the beasts?
Then why would they attack some nights
and not others?
Why would she lure her own kin
to die on the rocks?
The only thing
you need to understand,
is that we are the invaders,
which makes us the enemy.
Kill and conquer,
that's what we humans do.
You want to conquer them,
is that it?
Oh no, I want to exterminate them.
Need more timber.
Haven't attacked in weeks.
You like sleeping in my lighthouse.
Far away.
And quite forgotten.
My eyes have scrutinised every surface
a thousand times.
We speak of the lighthouse
and its environs as if
it were an entire state.
Every nook and cranny
has a name.
Every rock,
every stone.
Maybe they migrate
like the whales in winter.
Or maybe the creatures reason
they can't defeat us.
They're beasts.
They're out there gathering
in numbers for their next attack.
You're on watch.
Although it may seem strange,
the lulls between fighting are often
worse than the battles themselves.
This void is accompanied
by the mascot's change in attitude.
How could Gruner lie
with one of the very same monsters
that plague us every night?
How did he manage to justify the act,
in defiance of all the obstacles
set down by civilization,
set down by nature?
How could he get closer..
And closer..
And not be repelled
by her cold skin?
I have decided to give her a name.
- When'd we run out of potatoes?
- We didn't, you're drinking 'em.
You play?
What civilized man doesn't?
These beasts really are
a fascinating species.
Their blood, for example.
I imagine that it must
share the properties,
of some Arctic fish,
containing a kind of antifreeze
helping them survive
in sub-zero conditions.
Have you noticed that
they've got two sets of eyelids?
The first very much like ours,
but the second is
a transparent membrane
helping them when they dive,
I would imagine.
We could capture specimens,
take them back to Great Britain
or to the United States,
present our discovery,
and we would be celebrated..
Alright you've got me.
I came down to the arsehole
of the world to become famous..
Check! Now shut up and play.
Ehh, ehh, ehh.. it can't be.
- It.. it just.. just can't be.
- Now calm down Gruner, it's only a game.
- King.. pawn..
- It can't be!
We forgot the light. Galley deck.
Come out, there's too many.
There's too many.
So whatta we do now?
Starry night..
As I was sleeping.
One starry night..
As I lay in bed..
I dreamed I heard..
Iron wheels creakin'.
When we planned the story..
When lay me down.
Look at us. We cannot survive
another assault like that.
We're running out of supplies..
Running out of ammunition,
running out of will.
Where you going?
Hey! what is it?
There's a boat.
Gruner knows how to defend himself.
Gruner rules the world.
Gruner wants what he has
and has, only what he wants.
Ungrateful little..
- Get outa my way boy.
- Please Gruner.
No more people.
I see what you are.
A sad pathetic failure
of a misanthrope.
You're too afraid
to let your friends leave!
Too afraid to kill your enemies.
Afraid of having
no one left to hate.
Fuck you ...
What has he done to you this time?
You call this..
A boat.
You see?
I found a rowboat.
I know of it.
Sorry, what?
Why didn't you say so?
Wouldn't do you no good. I'm sure
you'll make it off my island,
and you'll be taken by hypothermia,
starvation, storm.
Most likely end up as toadfood,
but hey, who am I to deny you
the right to choose how you die?
- Where'd it come from?
- Along with some Portuguese.
- Shipwreck?
- Tremendous storm.
Came to grief in the night.
And I'm sure you did everything
you could to save them.
I did what I could.
Those who made it to shore, were set
upon trying to reach the lighthouse.
Nothing left of them by the morning.
Dragged back out to the depths.
What were they doing so far
from commercial routes?
Was an illegal ship.
Dynamite smugglers.
Found some crates,
washed up ashore.
No good though, all waterlogged.
- You want to dive that ship.
- We recover the dynamite.
Repair the rowboat, head out
in the morning at low tide
when it's safest.
You're an idiot.
What is it 'bout blowing up
a thousand toads you don't like?
Suicide mission, I'm not
going down in that water.
I'll do it.
- All I require from you
is to pump my air.
- Won't work.
I'm talking about toad extermination.
I changed my mind.
We leave right away.
Remember, one tug on the rope,
everything's fine.
Two, load is secured.
Three ...
The second line is too close
to the lighthouse.
At this distance, the toads
will be packed in nice and tight,
like a can of sardines.
We'll end up perched
on the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The austral summer is fading timidly,
but with grandeur.
Now we are inexorably heading
toward the winter,
or rather the darkness.
Time is a relative idea.
Drops suspended from a spider web
for centuries, before it falls.
Sometimes, however,
a week, passes in the blink
of an eye.
Come inside.
Three weeks. Three weeks
and nuthin'.
- We can't eat that garbage.
- Gruner!
She told them!
You told your friends, huh?
You've warned them, didn't you?
You.. fucking little toad spy.
This is how you repay me, huh?
You ungrateful bitch!
- Gruner!
- How dare you leave me! Dare you leave!
- Gruner!
- Try it, try it again!
- Gruner!
We ambush them.
We leave the main door open
and lure them inside,
you pick them off on the stairs,
I operate the detonator,
once they're close enough.
Gruner, main door's open.
- Lanterns?
- Burning.
C'mon, c'mon, sing!
C'mon, c'mon, sing, sing,
sing for your supper, sing!
barks like dog
Sing! Sing! Sing!
barks, howls like dog
They're in!
They here!
It's not working!
The contact!
Get down!
No, Gruner ...!
Gruner can you hear me?
Under the widest starry sky..
Dig my grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
and I lays me down with a will.
Use your knife,
don't waste ammunition.
Look at what we've done.
She'll do that for a time.
Wail, wail like that.
That's how I found her..
Entangled in a net, little tyke.
Cute that way, aren't they?
They don't stay that way.
Cut it free.
I saved its life I did.
It'll come crawling back.
She always does.
They're mourning.
Look at this.
It's brilliant.
We have to keep up the pretense,
new, more powerful weapons.
Keep puttin' the fear in them.
I see you, king of the toads!
Don't harm them, Gruner.
A truce is what I think they want.
Gruner, put your rifle down
and show them that
you mean them no harm.
We were wrong.
Gruner, we were wrong.
Go inside.
I said inside!
Don't leave me.
Noone leaves. Noone leaves.
Noone leaves Gruner.
Don't leave.
You don't leave, you don't.. leave.
Noone leaves Gruner.
Gruner leaves, Gruner leaves,
Gruner leaves..
You don't leave.. Gruner, no..
You don't leave.. Gruner leaves.
Noone leaves Gruner!
Gruner leaves!
Aldor Vigelands,
you're no murderer!
Mr. Gruner.
Maritime signal technician Gruner.
Alright, get up!
We are here to replace
the weather official
with this man.
Do you know where he is?
Speak up!
This place is a pigsty.
Look at yourself!
You're in no fit state to hold
a position of signal technician,
we're at war, man.
Get back here!
I believe the poor soul
is infirm from isolation, sir.
- You know the saying ...
- We'll have him seen to.
Search the island.